Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Performing arts venues prove a challenge for Tarpon Springs

TARPON SPRINGS — When it's all done, the city's performing arts center, the beaux arts style building built in 1924 on Pine Street, will have received about $640,000 worth of renovations: upgrades in lighting, a new sound system, new curtains and more.

One year ago, as center director Kathy Monahan prepared the performing arts calendar for the fall, renovations were in the beginning phase. They were expected to be completed by this month. Monahan planned accordingly.

However, the work has taken longer than expected. It is now slated to be done by the end of January, causing Monahan and her staff to scramble.

"We got creative," Monahan said.

With the help of Michael Raysses, the theater operations manager, Mark Jump, the assistant theater operations manager, and Jim McNeely, opera production manager, Monahan decided to move eight shows to two other venues in the city.

The juggling act includes using the Heritage Museum with its renovated Gen Haley Ecology Wing and Christopher Still exhibit for seven of the shows and the St. Nicholas Cathedral Community Center on North Pinellas Avenue, with its large, 300-seat auditorium, for one show (The Brothers Four on Jan. 23).

First up was Lucia di Lammermoor, a Romeo and Juliet-themed story presented by New City Opera last weekend. Ticket holders were re-directed to the museum.

For several weeks, workers scrambled to transform the museum into a makeshift opera house. Although there was already seating in a banquet area for 125, a raised stage, 30 feet long, was built and curtains hung over the windows, including a cover for the skylight. Video screens and additional audio equipment also were brought in.

Although the venue lacked a green room and a dressing room, more than 24 performers made do, sharing the few private nooks and crannies to check their makeup and tighten up their floor-length costumes. In between acts, several members of the cast were spotted relaxing under Still's life-size artwork.

"It was so intimate. Everyone loves the setting," said Diane Wood, arts marketing and programs manager, who was on hand for the opening of the opera.

On Saturday, the three-time Grammy winner and baritone Sherrill Milnes and his wife, soprano Maria Zouves, who live in Palm Harbor, will perform on the new stage during A Night Before Christmas.

"I think the intimacy will work well for that show, too," Wood said. "The audience will like being so close to Sherrill and Maria, and actually, Sherrill and Maria have performed in the Heritage Museum many times, so they are familiar with what's being done."

Contact Piper Castillo at [email protected] Follow @Florida_PBJC.

>>if you go

Change of venue

These shows will be at the Heritage Museum:

A Night Before Christmas, 7:30 p.m. Saturday

The Florida Orchestra Brass Quintet Holiday Concert, 2 p.m., Sunday

Amahl and the Night Visitors, 2 p.m., Dec. 20

Bus Stop Band, 7:30 p.m., Jan. 9

Ted Vigil's John Denver Tribute, 7:30 p.m., Jan. 16

The Rhythm Kings Orchestra in Concert, 3 p.m., Jan. 17

Performing arts venues prove a challenge for Tarpon Springs 12/11/15 [Last modified: Friday, December 11, 2015 8:24am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fox renewed O'Reilly contract despite knowing of allegations


    NEW YORK (AP) — The Fox News Channel says the company knew a news analyst planned to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill O'Reilly when it renewed the popular personality's contract in February.

    Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly appears on the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," in New York. O'Reilly has lost his job at Fox News Channel in April following reports that several women had been paid millions of dollars to keep quiet about harassment allegations. [Associated Press file]
  2. Conviction overturned 30 years later in neo-Nazi murder case


    TAMPA — A judge on Friday overturned the murder conviction of Dean McKee now that new evidence has raised doubt about McKee's guilt in a Tampa slaying that occurred nearly three decades ago when he was 16.

    In 1987, a St. Petersburg Times reporter interviewed Dean McKee for a story about young skinheads in Tampa. [Times | 1987]
  3. Experts have some theories on who's carrying out Seminole Heights killings


    The words serial killer tend to conjure an image of a middle-aged white man, likely a loner. He stabs or chokes or strangles, murdering up close for the thrill, straight out of central casting.

    A memorial was set up where Anthony Naiboa, 20, was found shot to death in Seminole Heights. Some experts who have reviewed information in the case say that whoever is behind the three Seminole Heights killings may live in the area. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  4. Late fumble, field goal send Florida State to another loss


    TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher didn't have an explanation for the turning point in Saturday's 31-28 last-second loss to Louisville.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson gets past Florida State's Matthew Thomas to score in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Tallahassee Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC102
  5. Funeral starts for soldier at center of Trump fight


    COOPER CITY, Fla. (AP) — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102